30 Jun 2007

Fiji lawyers divided over petition on judiciary

10:21 am on 30 June 2007

Fiji's lawyers appear divided over a petition by some of their colleagues calling for the reinstatement of the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, and the resignation of the acting chief justice, Anthony Gates.

Some lawyers have told Fiji TV the petition should deal only with the reinstatement of Justice Fatiaki and not whether the Appeal Court ruling in the Takiveikata case this week undermines the integrity and impartiality of Justice Gates.

Several lawyers say they are still considering the merits of the petition while others say they have yet to see it.

Prominent Suva lawyer, Tevita Fa, says he doubts he will sign it because he is not happy about combining two totally separate issues in the petition.

Mr Fa says the Fiji Law Society should avoid kicking a person when he is down because it is unchristian and not the way people should be treated.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the lawyers are wasting their time because a tribunal to hear the allegations against Justice Fatiaki will be convened this month.